BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Viet-Hue Kitchen

A poky Vietnamese eatery in Lower Silom.

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Average: 1 (1 vote)
Viet-Hue Kitchen welcomes a steady stream of Lower Silom office-workers and bright-eyed tourists into its cozy, canteen-like interior of mirrors and Vietnamese trinkets. We like the throwback soundtrack of 50s rockabilly and murder ballads. We like its allusions to region-specific cuisine (Hue is a city in central Vietnam), even if it only manifests in a couple of dishes. We recommend the no-nonsense combination of Vietnamese drip coffee and cha gio bun (dry rice noodles served with fried spring rolls).
While rarely mentioned in the same breath as Vietnamese & More and Le Dalat when it comes to Bangkok’s best Vietnamese restaurants, this poky joint does have a loyal following who will vouch for it, largely on the grounds of authenticity.
 
Viet-Hue Kitchen is around five years old, but looks older, and welcomes a steady stream of Lower Silom office-workers and bright-eyed tourists into its cozy, canteen-like interior of mirrors and Vietnamese trinkets. We like the throwback soundtrack of 50s rockabilly and murder ballads. We like its allusions to region-specific cuisine (Hue is a city in central Vietnam), even if it only manifests in a couple of dishes. But charm can only take you so far.
 
The main problem is a lack of fresh produce—the backbone of good Vietnamese food—evident from the customary bowl of greens served with most dishes, which tends to show too much brown for our liking. Aesthetics aside, there’s a real lack of dynamism throughout the menu. The goi ga (chicken salad, B100) is a decent palate-cleanser but could be zestier given it’s little more than shredded chicken doused in lime and sesame.
 
The beef pho is priced at an overly-reasonable B90, and tastes just like a budget version with its watery, bland broth. Similarly disappointing is the noodle soup, bun bo Hue (pork or beef, B100/120), which tastes a little disarmingly of Mama tomyum. Another classic, the banh cuon (steamed rice sheets with minced pork, B100), is overcooked and under-seasoned, dry and chewy, even if the wood ear mushrooms are pretty tasty.
 
When in doubt stick to the deep-fried offerings: the chao tom (minced shrimp on fried sugarcane skewer, B190) is much crispier than we’ve tried before, but that’s not a bad thing. Sprinkled with sesame, and very shrimp-y tasting, they’re a solid drinking snack. The deep-fried spring rolls (B120), too, are meatier than most. There are no complaints about the cooking oil, either, which smells and tastes fresh, but the overall flavor is still solid rather than spectacular.
 
We’d rather not bash what’s evidently a humble, family-run affair, but there’s not a lot to recommend about Viet-Hue unless you find yourself stuck near BTS Chong Nonsi around lunchtime. In that case, we can recommend the no-nonsense combination of Vietnamese drip coffee and cha gio bun (dry rice noodles served with fried spring rolls, B100).
Venue Details
Address: Viet-Hue Kitchen, 42, Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-635-0122
Area: Silom
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Price Range: B - BB
Open since: July, 2010
Opening hours: daily 10am-10pm
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